Learning in the real world outside the classroom, including through outdoor learning, is an effective way of meeting the demands of the National Curriculum, and of preparing young people for life beyond school. Outstanding schools have always provided such opportunities as integral parts of their whole-school approach.
Outdoor learning can provide opportunities for:
• Inspiration for creative writing;
• Applied maths in real world settings;
• Hands-on learning in the local environment;
• Nature study and fieldwork;
• Scientific investigations;
• Bringing geography and history alive;
• Inspiration for art and music;
• Design and technology projects;
• Outdoor and adventurous activities as part of the PE curriculum.
Outdoor and adventurous activities, which provide first-hand real challenges, are a powerful process for supporting personal and social development, character development and resilience, spiritual, moral and cultural development and physical and mental well-being.
• Opportunities for healthy physical activity and developing a healthy lifestyle;
• Opportunities for time in natural places, and to connect with nature;
• Opportunities to experience awe and wonder at nature and place, and to experience silence and solitude;
• Self-confidence and self-esteem developed through progressive challenges and skills development;
• Resilience developed through dealing with adversity;
• Developing and managing positive relationships between participants, and between participants and accompanying adults;
• Learning how to live together with other people and resolve differences;
• Learning how to work in teams;
• Learning in the local area to develop community understanding;
• Experiences of different cultures leading to improved community cohesion and tolerance.
Learning Outside the Classroom can provide opportunities to develop and practise skills involving communication, collaboration, numeracy, leadership, creativity and innovation.
Independent enquiry, creative thinking, reflective learning, team working, self management and effective participation are often best developed experimentally through outdoor learning.